A note from John Snipes (@stripstruck):
“Permit are amazing (the best) fish to target on a fly rod. I vividly remember seeing my first one when I was 12 or 13 on Crooked Island in the Bahamas, and finally catching my first one in Belize in 2015. Every single catch since then has its own special story including my first Keys permit when my wife met us at the ramp with a bottle of a champagne.”
“When I caught my first permit, I had no idea there were other species (but of course falcatus is still the king). Eventually, in 2017 I got a year-end bonus big enough to allow me to go to the Seychelles and catch my second species, the Indo-Pacific permit or trachinotus blochii, on Alphonse Island. I then heard that there were permit in Oman – and they had two kinds! I made the trip in 2019 and caught a lot of blochii, but struck out on the newest permit stuck in my brain: the africanus. I went back to Oman in 2021 with Brandon and Clare King of Arabian Fly and caught one (actually 5) of these elusive fish.”
“It was around this time that I started to hear about yet another catchable permit species in Australia called trachinotus anak: a big and beautiful permit with a snub nose and a hard yellow tail. I booked the trip down under for June 2023 with Josh Hutchins (@aussieflyfisher) and Christiaan Pretorius where I was able to catch an anak (trachinotus anak) permit and round out the big 4!”
“Every permit, regardless of species, is hard to catch, even if in different and much less pressured environments, but nothing will ever replace the thrill of landing a permit in Key West. (I do hope that more catchable permit are identified – looking at you Los Locos).”
“My best “tips” for permit fishing are mostly related to the mental side: be focused, be relentless, make the cast, forget the cast, cast again. Permit reward dedication and focus. And remember to enjoy the journey. It is always fun and exciting to catch these fish, but the adventures, places, and people are what make it special.”
“What’s next for me? I’ll keep learning and working towards the 100 permit mark.”
Angler Story of the Week from John Snipes, be sure to check him out on Instagram @stripstruck.